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School district voters were right in approving bond issue

By Staff | Jun 11, 2010

Rugby School District voters have spoken – and a good majority of them supported a major school improvement and construction project at the Jr.-Sr. High.

The voter turnout and the outcome reveals residents feel strongly about their school system and the need to keep its school facilities updated.

It also sends a message that voters – young and old – are progressive-minded and see this project as an investment into the future of education.

While 63 percent supported the project, 37 percent did not and while their reasons for a ‘No vote’ varied, some of the arguments were compelling.

One, it was a significant tax hike.

Certainly, increasing the tax levy is going to be an added tax burden on district residents, especially on the heels of a major street improvement project funded mainly through special assessments. And that was something school board members mulled over when deciding whether to proceed with calling for a bond issue election.

However, the prospects of getting a $6 million project paid with virtually no interest was too good to pass up and that was likely a selling point for many undecided voters.

And two, was the construction of a new addition, which added quite a bit to the price tag, really necessary? Especially, with declining enrollment.

The new space to be located north of the library will provide a larger commons area and a cafeteria on the main level, making it handicap accessible which it presently is not. It’s also important to note that the commons-cafeteria is used by many organizations in the community. So, adding this space will benefit more than just students and faculty.

And the addition will include room for administration and secretary offices in an area closer to an entrance that is adjacent to the parking lot and often used by vendors and visitors. Right now, that entrance is not closely monitored.

Hopefully, those who did not support this project may change their minds when the school improvements take shape.

And they will see what an important investment this is for our community.

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